By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson: There wasn’t much in the way of new developments this week, but they did a nice job of putting more heat on the heels heading into their six-man tag match against Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns.
Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. KC Navarro vs. Crazzy Steve: A good X Division four-way with a couple of fresh faces. I thought this would be a showcase for Austin and was surprised to see Steve in the match, and even more surprised when he actually won it given that he’s played a comedy figure. But he is competing in this weekend’s Super X Cup tournament, so it was logical to make him look strong. His win here probably means he has no chance of winning if they follow the usual pro wrestling booking approach. Either way, I view Austin as Impact’s brightest young star and it’s disappointing that he hasn’t been booked stronger in recent months.
Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone’s paid ad: I have no idea why Khan and Schiavone act like arrogant pricks in these videos, but they sure are fun. I actually find myself looking forward to these videos even more than Kenny Omega and Don Callis on the tour bus.
Jordynne Grace and Jazz vs. Havok and Nevaeh in a Knockouts Tag Title tournament match: The first surprising outcome in the tournament. With a big win over Jazz, that gives Havok and Nevaeh a big boost going into the finals. It’s nice to see Jazz get what seems to be a nice sendoff run.
Rhino and Cousin Jake vs. Cody Deaner and Joe Doering: A nice introduction to the new Cody Deaner character. I give the guy a lot of credit for trying to reinvent himself rather than remain in the comfort zone of the comedic babyface character that he played for so long. This should also end up benefitting Cousin Jake, assuming he is also repackaged in some way. I dig Young’s faction, but I hope they do more to showcase Doering going forward. Finally, I wish just once a heel would interrupt Tommy Dreamer’s big buildup to announcing a match stipulation by saying, “Yeah, we know, Tommy, an old school rules match.”
Impact Wrestling Misses
Eddie Edwards vs. Sami Callihan: The rivalry continued with the usual good brawl between the two. But Impact just won’t budge on Callihan’s bad hacker gimmick and the cheesy production that comes with it. I loved Callihan’s work in Impact and was curious to see what he and the creative forces had in mind for a modern version of his Solomon Crow character. The more this goes on, the more it feels like it’s a gimmick that was better off left on the scrapheap.
Moose vs. Matthew Palmer: Impact just can’t seem to get it consistently right with Moose. Whether it’s his delusional TNA Title reign, Moose Vision, or now losing this challenge match because he was distracted by Willie Mack, it seems like there’s always clunky booking that prevents him from becoming a consistently strong main event player.